The ‘youth’ of today are often viewed as narcissistic, apathetic and lazy, not just in their lifestyle, but in their approach to politics. This idea is definitely wide spread, but being part of the ‘youth’ myself, I have to strongly disagree. I consider myself a very active political citizen and I do not think this is uncommon among many other young people.
To me, young people have very specific political agendas or views that are often not shared with older generations. One of the most prominent examples of this is gay marriage. According to galaxy research, from 2009-2012 64% of Australians in total support marriage equality and an exponential 81% of Australian’s aged 18-24 are in favour of marriage equality. For the younger generations who are more open-minded and accepting, favour of gay marriage equality is becoming expected – it is not a question of ‘if?’, it is a question of ‘when?’.
(Photo credit – Galaxy Research)
This is seen on a global scale. Young people becoming active in the fight for those in the LGBT community, both online and offline. Online examples of gay marriage ‘clictivism’ include Facebook groups, Twitter hashtag trends and tumblr accounts. Offline, things can become a lot more emotionally charged and youth become really invested. For example, university students in Minnesota, USA, took it upon themselves to fight a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage – and the results were heart warming.
This video provides insight in to just how committed young people can become to a political cause when there is a shared focus. Young people bring with them passion, drive and relentless energy, and we are making changes. In the younger generations that are increasingly accepting of LGBT people, we have taken the issue of gay marriage upon us, as ours to fight for.
(Photo Credit – Shannon Vitiritti)
Young people are not politically silent. We care about our world and the conditions people live in, we care about our citizens who have been marginalised, and we care enough to fight for change.